Television consumption drives perceptions of female body attractiveness in a population undergoing technological transition.

Boothroyd, Lynda G., Jucker, Jean-Luc, Thornborrow, Tracey, Barton, Robert A., Burt, D. Michael, Evans, Elizabeth H., Jamieson, Mark A. and Tovée, Martin J. (2020) Television consumption drives perceptions of female body attractiveness in a population undergoing technological transition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 119 (4). pp. 839-860. ISSN 0022-3514

[img]
Preview
Text
AAM_Boothroyd et al_JPSP_2019.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (706kB) | Preview
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000224

Abstract

Perceptions of physical attractiveness vary across cultural groups, particularly for female body size and shape. It has been hypothesized that visual media propagates Western “thin ideals.” However, because cross-cultural studies typically consider groups highly differentiated on a number of factors, identifying the causal factors has thus far been impossible. In the present research, we conducted “naturalistic” and controlled experiments to test the influence of media access on female body ideals in a remote region of Nicaragua by sampling from villages with and without regular TV access. We found that greater TV consumption remained a significant predictor of preferences for slimmer, curvier female figures after controlling for a range of other factors in an ethnically balanced sample of 299 individuals (150 female, aged 15–79) across 7 villages. Within-individual analyses in 1 village over 3 years also showed an association between increased TV consumption and preferences for slimmer figures among some participants. Finally, an experimental study in 2 low-media locations demonstrates that exposure to media images of fashion models can directly impact participants’ body size ideals. We provide the first converging cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental evidence from field-based research, that media exposure can drive changes in perceptions of female attractiveness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: attractiveness, BMI, waist-hip ratio, Miskitu, Mestizo
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 17:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2020 10:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42342

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics